Options exist for farmers facing potential unharvested acres
Each year, periods of poor weather throughout regions of our province affect harvest operations.
AFSC understands the stress that these kinds of conditions (rain, hail, snow and drought) create, as our clients wait for field conditions to improve and harvest to be completed.
AFSC offers a range of Business Risk Management programs, including AgriStability and AgriInsurance, designed to help alleviate the stress associated with weather-based concerns. We are ready to help you manage your risk.
As a client, this option offers production and quality loss guarantees for most annual crops. If you anticipate a production shortfall, there are options available to speed up the payment of indemnities and improve your overall claim experience. To initiate a claim you must file a completed Harvested Production Report by November 15. You can file your report online through AFSC Connect; by email, mail or fax; or in person at your local AFSC branch office.
Why do I need to file my Harvested Production Report?
Filing the Harvested Production Report with AFSC triggers the process for potential Post-Harvest and Unharvested Acreage Benefits. This also provides yields that are used to calculate coverage in future years. You can file your Harvested Production Report for annual crops online through AFSC Connect; by email, mail, or fax; or in person at your local AFSC branch office.
When do I need to file my Harvested Production Report?
The Harvested Production Report filing deadline for annual crops is November 15. You are encouraged to complete and submit these forms as soon as the fall harvest has ended in order to start your claim process.
If you are still harvesting during the November 15 filing deadline, you can submit your Harvested Production Report late. Late-filed Harvested Production Reports must be received by AFSC no later than December 31 in order to remain eligible for potential indemnity payments, and to avoid a zero yield assessment for future coverage calculations. Late-filed Harvested Production Reports may be assessed a late fee, if at the November 15 filing deadline:
- harvest is considered completed in your area; or
- the onset of winter occurred prior to the filing deadline.
If you have unharvested acres of an insured crop that is combined in the spring, you will need to submit a revised Harvested Production Report to AFSC once harvest is completed in the spring. This will initiate the post-harvest inspection process in order to finalize your claim.
Can I get an advance on my Post-Harvest Crop Insurance Claim?
To assist with your cash flow, you may be able to take advantage of a Preliminary Payment or a Post-Harvest Advance and receive a portion of your estimated claim as an early payment.
The Preliminary Payment option is based on the reported production from your Harvested Production Report, and offers you an advance based on a 20 per cent increase (in production).
The Post-Harvest Advance option is also available to eligible clients who may not qualify for or want a preliminary payment advance. This Post-Harvest Advance is based on the reported production from your Harvested Production Report, and pays 50 per cent of the estimated indemnity.
The payments from the Preliminary Payment and Post-Harvest Advance options are deducted from the claim when it is finalized. If Preliminary Payments or Post-Harvest Advances are not fully covered by the claim’s final indemnity, the shortfall must be repaid.
To receive a Preliminary Payment or a Post-Harvest Advance, your Harvested Production Report must be completed and submitted to AFSC. For more information on filing a report, you can watch the Annual Crop Harvest Production Report Tutorial video on YouTube. AFSC will contact you automatically if you are eligible for a Preliminary Payment or a Post-Harvest Advance.
What happens if I am unable to harvest my entire insured crop before the onset of winter?
If harvest is considered delayed in your area due to the onset of winter, AFSC will extend production insurance coverage to unharvested insured crops until the crop can be combined in the spring or managed by other means.
In situations where a small number of abandoned or unharvested acres remain, AFSC may offer a Preliminary Payment or a Post-Harvest Advance; AFSC may also elect to finalize the post-harvest claim.
Most post-harvest claims cannot be finalized until the crop is harvested or managed by other means. Clients with a substantial percentage of insured acres that remain unharvested at the onset of winter may be eligible for an Unharvested Acreage Benefit and Supplementary Advance.
- The Unharvested Acreage Benefit provides a payment of up to 25 per cent of dollar coverage on eligible unharvested acres that exceeds 20 per cent of the total insured crop.
- The Supplementary Advance provides an additional payment of 50 per cent of the estimated post-harvest indemnity less the Unharvested Acreage Benefit, if paid.
- To complete the claim, first the Unharvested Acreage Benefit and then the Supplementary Advance is deducted from the claim. If the Supplementary Advance is not fully covered by the claim’s final indemnity, the shortfall must be repaid to AFSC.
- If you are not eligible for an Unharvested Acreage Benefit, you may still be eligible for a Preliminary Payment or Post-Harvest Advance.
Eligibility for the Unharvested Acreage Benefit is automatically triggered based on the information on your Harvested Production Report. AFSC will contact you to arrange for an Unharvested Acreage Benefit assessment if you qualify.
If the unharvested acres of an insured crop are combined in the spring, you will need to submit a revised Harvested Production Report to AFSC once harvest is completed. This will initiate the post-harvest inspection process to finalize the claim.
What happens if I am not going to combine my unharvested acres in the spring?
If some or all of your unharvested acres of an insured crop are not going to be combined, but will be managed in another manner (baled, burned, plowed down, grazed, etc.), you will need to contact AFSC and arrange for a yield assessment. Once AFSC has done a yield assessment and released these acres, you can proceed in managing the unharvested acres.
What if my unharvested acres are damaged by wildlife over winter?
The Wildlife Damage Compensation Program provides coverage for clients who suffer crop loss or degradation caused by specified wildlife. You do not have to have an annual crop insurance policy with AFSC to apply for a claim. Only crops eligible for crop insurance are eligible for Wildlife Damage Compensation Program benefits.
If harvest is considered delayed in your area due to the onset of winter, you may be eligible for compensation for wildlife damage that occurs over the winter.
Before the unharvested acres damaged by wildlife are combined, or managed in another manner (baled, burned, plowed down, grazed, etc.), you will need to contact AFSC and arrange for the completion of a Wildlife Damage Compensation Program assessment and have AFSC release these acres.
As an ongoing, whole-farm risk management tool, AgriStability helps you manage significant risks, providing protection against large declines in farming income that threaten the viability of your farm and are beyond your capacity to manage. Here are some answers to common questions about the AgriStability program.
If I am not able to complete harvest, or can only complete part of my harvest due to wet conditions, how can AgriStability help?
The AgriStability program triggers benefits when there is a significant decline in the program year’s margin as a result of lost production (i.e. lower yields); there are decreases to commodity prices (i.e. lower quality or prices) or increases to input costs (i.e. fuel, fertilizer, chemical, seed, livestock, feed utilities, arms-length labour, etc.).
If I have zero or very little ending inventory to report by the end of the year, should I apply early?
Filing early allows for earlier processing of your AgriStability claim. However, to finalize your claim, AFSC needs:
- Your completed statement of farm income and expenses that is filed (or will be) with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and
- Supplemental information that includes pending crop insurance indemnity payments and the production from any unharvested acres at the end of the year.
Can I receive interim payments?
If you participate in AgriStability, you can request an Interim Payment for a program year within three months from the end of your program year.
To be eligible for an Interim Payment you must have:
- Completed six months of farming activity in that program year;
- Completed a Production Cycle in that program year;
- Confirmed your participation in the program for that program year.
- Been farming in Canada and reporting farm income as an individual, corporation/co-operative, or a trust/communal organization to CRA.
In addition, your projected program year margin must have declined by more than 30 per cent of your reference margin.
How is an interim payment calculated?
Interim payments are based on a projected margin decline for the program year, relative to your reference margin. The projected program year margin is calculated using your estimated production, as well as related crop insurance indemnities and other program payments for that program year. Interim payments will advance up to 50 per cent of the total estimated payment.
If you receive an interim payment you are required to submit final program forms by the established deadline (September 30, 2020) and you must comply with all program requirements—or the interim payment will have to be repaid in its entirety.
AFSC’s role is to provide leading, innovative and client-focused solutions to grow agriculture in Alberta. If you require additional information on any of our programs, please contact your AFSC office or call the Client Service Centre at 1.877.899.2372.